Prologue – Once upon a midnight dreary…

Midnight stepped forward onto his sigil, raven black robes flapping behind him like dark feathered wings. Tendrils of his long silver beard and hair billowed and curled around the staff he held aloft to the sky.

“Let the Hours pass on to the New Day!” he proclaimed.

His voice echoed hollow in the emptiness.

With his one eye of sunlight, his one eye of night, the Twenty-fourth Hour swept his celestial gaze over the other twenty-three sigils, covered in dust.

It had been of an age and beyond since the other Hours had stood their Watches here. Here upon the Circle, created for the temporal guardians to oversee the passage of the Days upon the fragile world of a fledgling human race.

The Circle of Nychthemeron. Would any human know its name? Did the other Hours even remember this place, or had they renounced it as they had their sacred duty?

Midnight straightened his staff to lean upon. How long ago had it been?

How long ago since the other Hours began taking an unseemly interest in humanity’s advances, began being drawn to the mortal lives humans led? Midnight had never understood the attraction. He could only surmise the everchanging goings on of humanity had been too seductive, too enticing for the weaker, lesser Hours to resist.  The Supreme Hour nodded to himself as he looked up to the heavens.

Plumes of solar flames crowned the full moon overlaid upon the sun above. The sun and moon’s radiance twinned in an eternal conjunction of twilight and dawn. A totality of kept light held in delicate astral balance.  Midnight closed his eyes briefly to bask in the neverchanging breath of day and night.

No. He couldn’t understand.  There was power in permanence.  How could the other Hours not see that in turn?

But the questions Midnight had listened to them ask amongst themselves back then had proven otherwise. Why rule in a ceaseless, unchanging cycle the exciting happenings humans experienced first hand?. Why couldn’t they experience the same as well? After all, what did it matter where the Hours stood their watch? Time didn’t stand still, why should they? It would follow them regardless… wherever, whenever, they may be.

And it was thus, one by one, that the other Hours succumbed to temptation and left the Circle.

Abandoned it.

In the Here and Now of Todays, each of the other Hours now preferred to live on Earth, blending in with the human world they should have been overseeing rather than participating in.

Gone native. 

The Circle of Nychthemeron was naught but some forgotten relic. Obsolete.

The other Hours no longer held to the Circle and humans had long ceased measuring time by worshipping sun and moon. The manmade gods of Technology had usurped the old ways. Now humans followed the likes of smartwatches of the Apple, the calendar of Google, or the false goddess Alexa with her blue tooth.

Left unchecked with their technology and science, how many more Tomorrows would it take before they unlocked the ability to control Time? What would happen if the humans achieved immortality themselves?

The Hours would become obsolete.

And what happened then?  Without purpose, would the Hours be forced to leave existence behind and surrender to the primordial ether? Or was that fate reserved solely for the Twenty-fourth who had remained patiently true to his calling while he’d waited for the other Hours to realize their mistake and return?


Dust swirled about Midnight’s sandal-shod feet as the cosmic wind picked up.

The old ways were gone. Only Midnight remained, calling out the roll of the day alone.

And he was weary of it. Dreary with it. He’d had enough.

Midnight’s night eye turned to day, the day eye turned to night.

He was the Supreme Hour responsible for the continued cycle of daily Beginnings and Endings. If he was to be the only Hour on watch here, let him be the only Hour, period.

Midnight crossed the distance to the next sigil, his robes shrinking back to transform into a black double-breasted suit with a burgundy pocket silk square that matched perfectly with the cravat. A polished pair of saddle shoes further kicked up the dust as he walked. 

Tucking his staff-now-walking stick under his arm, Midnight admired the burnished ebony of its carved raven head grip. With gloved forefinger he nudged the dark glasses which materialized upon his face higher up the bridge of his nose, then ran his hand along the fresh jawline of trim silver stubble and over the tapered locks of a silvery pompadour.

The winds shifted when he finally came to a halt, standing alone on the forsaken sigil.

There is much to reflect upon in the midnight hour. The dead of night.

Truth be told, he’d been planning this for a long time. And it would begin easily enough, with the First Hour to call upon.

The Twenty-fourth Hour needn’t rush.

He had all the time in the world.

Or soon would.

Next Part: I – Here and Now

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September 12, 2021 10:04

September 12, 2021 Sorry I forgot to fill up my user name. Old age made me that, I guess.

September 12, 2021 02:59

September 12, 2021 @Elisabeth Long, I guess Midnight wanted to be the only hour day and night to watched the world. Not expressed to all new technologies presented to a new era. Whatever he’s planning to be the only hour to be existed it will be deadly and there’s consequences follow. Interesting new concept and genre. Very intriguing how does this things play out in Midnight thought, ambitiousness and desired to be fulfilled what he wanted. Can’t wait to read the next page. Thank you for not abolishing this story. 💕💖💖💕💖💕💖👍